YEREVAN, DECEMBER 22, ARTSAKHPRESS. The mayors of the French cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille are calling on the French government and the European Union to impose sanctions against Azerbaijan for the blockade of Lachin Corridor.
The mayors made the public appeal in a joint article published in the Libération newspaper.
The French mayors said that the situation is unacceptable and that France cannot tolerate the constant danger facing the 120,000 Armenians living in Nagorno Karabakh Republic, a part of which Azerbaijan is occupying. “France cannot leave them at the whim of dictator Ilham Aliyev who is promoting Armenophobic policy for over two decades,” the French officials said.
They called on the President of France to officially meet with the elected representatives of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. “At the same time we call for unconditional condemnation of the Baku regime, which stated through its Foreign Minister that Azerbaijan will not negotiate anything anymore on the NK issue, in violation of the international obligations it assumed as part of the 9 November 2020 statement.”
“We are also requesting to initiate a European policy of sanctioning Azerbaijan, like the one adopted against Russia, starting for example by freezing assets of Azerbaijani leaders and oligarchs kept in our country. And since that regime does no longer want to negotiate, we request France to adopt transparent position on Nagorno Karabakh, particularly in the dimension of de-centralized cooperation, in order for our provinces, departments and cities, on the examples of Paris, Lyon, Marseille or others, be able to unite human, financial and material resources and reach a helping hand to Artsakh for the restoration of numerous infrastructures destroyed as a result of consecutive conflicts. We also request France to participate in the re-launch of the Stepanakert airport: this air bridge will allow to decrease the consequences of the blockade and ease the life of thousands of peaceful civilians, whose only guilt is their will to live on their own land,” the mayors said.
They called on the French President and Foreign Minister to continue efforts to establish lasting peace in the region and ensure the exercise of the right to self-determination of nations in line with international law.
The statement also calls on France and the EU to display greater far-sightedness while signing cooperation or trade deals with Azerbaijan. The mayors noted that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s initiative to receive gas supply from Baku is more than concerning. The French mayors expressed special concern that the funding of the conflict against Artsakh could not be condemned by French leaders.